AlertNow, supplements conventional school communications such as newsletters, mailers, and notes. AlertNow allows the school district and individual schools to communicate with parents about school activities and events as well as school closings and emergencies. Many of our schools use the AlertNow system to notify parents of their students’ absences.
When inclement weather or other issues cause the school district to close school the AlertNow Rapid notification system is used to contact parents.
To take advantage of the AlertNow notification system make sure your school has your accurate phone number.
Frequently Asked Questions
I said “hello” and no message played. Why?
The ALERTNOW system plays the message as soon as the phone is picked up. However, errors can occur if the person repeatedly says “hello” or answers in a noisy environment (i.e. traffic, children playing, loud music or television, dogs barking, etc.). Generally, if a person offers an extended greeting such that it overlaps the Alertnow message, the system pauses, waits for silence, and replays the message from the beginning. With background noise, it is possible that the system was unable to detect the end of the “greeting” and thus the message did not initiate. In a noisy environment, where silence is unattainable, call recipients can press any number (1-9) and the message will play from the beginning without interruption.
How does the ALERTNOW system distinguish a live person from an answering machine?
In short, ALERTNOW utilizes the industry’s most Advanced Answering Machine Detection (AAMD) software. The system starts the broadcast immediately upon telephone pickup; simultaneously, it is listening for interruptions. If the system is not interrupted by noise or someone speaking within the first 3.5 seconds, the message is delivered in its entirety. If the system detects a greeting longer than a few seconds, the system treats this as an outgoing message from an answering machine and will wait for a pause (usually after the beep) before delivering the message to be recorded.
What if the line is busy or there is no answer?
The ALERTNOW system will make up to four attempts (depending on account settings) to reach each number, with three minutes in between each call. If the message is not delivered by the fourth attempt, it is considered a failed number. Failures happen when a phone number is busy, disconnected, invalid, etc.
Why is my answering machine recording only half of the message?
If the answering machine greeting is sporadic with varied periods of silence, the system will read this as a live person and begin playing the message, even though the machine has yet to start recording. This will result in a recording of silence (if the ALERTNOW message finishes playing before the machine begins recording) or of just the last portion of the ALERTNOW message. The recommended solution is to have parents re-record their outgoing message so that there are no pauses. If the answering machine is set to record for a specific amount of time (e.g. 30 seconds) and the ALERTNOW message runs longer than that, this will also result in message cut-off. The recommended solution is to have parents set their machines to record for a longer period. My caller ID showed that the school had called but there was no voicemail. Why? If there is a break or a substantial silence in the outgoing message, the system determines it has reached a live person and begins the message prior to the voicemail recording is engaged. Please make sure that the greeting is seamless to facilitate successful message delivery.
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